Seeing your teen going down a path of destruction is one of the most difficult situations a parent can endure. You may feel powerless to do anything to stem the tide as you search endlessly for solutions. You may even have moments of hopelessness. But if you’ve refused to give up on your child thus far, then now is not the time to switch course.
There could be multiple problems underlying your child’s behavioral issues, from bullies to mental health issues or drugs. The key is to figure out what your child’s specific needs are and do your best to meet them. Continue reading to get tips on what to do when you refuse to give up on your troubled teen.
The most important thing you can do for your troubled teen is to seek to understand what’s provoking their behavior. Children don’t become angry, depressed, or destructive for no reason. Adolescents have to deal with the peer pressure of high school, self-esteem issues, and more recently, the ending of their school year by COVID-19.
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Your child may even have a mental health issue, substance abuse problem, or both. It’s imperative that you figure out exactly what’s at the root of their behavioral problems. The important thing is to find out what’s troubling your child without judging him. Your troubled teen’s safety and future depend on you, your child, and the right professionals finding the source of the problem and coming up with a solution or treatment plan.
Once you know what is causing your child to act out, the next thing you need to do is weigh your options. The United States has led the charge in behavioral health, and there is a myriad of viable courses of action as well as available services. The key is to figure out which solution is best for your child.
If he is struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, then you have to consider all of the possible avenues for treatment. Would he benefit from counseling with an adolescent psychiatry specialist, or would a teen treatment center be more effective?
Look up the top adolescent residential treatment centers and family therapists in the area. Compare and contrast their philosophies and treatment methods. Note the differences between them, but also take note of the similarities. Treatment methods that are similar across different mental health treatment centers are ones that you should look for from all candidates.
If your child is struggling with ADHD or dyslexia, that could be the reason for their grades slipping and his behavior in the classroom as well. Either of those could lead to an anxiety disorder or another mental illness.
If your child’s behavioral issues stem from a problem like ADHD or dyslexia, then the solution for him might be a tutor to help him keep up with his classes. Organizations like Tutor The People provide tutors who are able to meet the specific needs of their students and optimize their high school learning experience.
If you haven’t realized it yet, anytime you make a hard decision that’s for your child’s best interests, you’re the bad guy. You should prepare yourself for that to be the case when you address your child’s behavioral issues.
Just remember how the scowl your child used to give you when you gave him cough syrup paled in comparison to the smile you received when he felt better. Your child may not appreciate what you’re doing at the moment, but he will love you and the results when he’s back to being his best self.